Looking for an tropical holiday without breaking the bank? Check out my top travel tips and travel deals to find the best long haul holidays on a budget.
The trend for Irish holiday-makers seeking more authentic experiences and adventure holidays is definitely on the rise! There are now over 40 direct flights each week to the Emirates and Asia from Dublin airport, which is resulting in very competitive airfares. Long haul destinations grew by 19% in 2017 from Dublin airport alone! New direct flights to Hong Kong and Beijing have opened up Asia even further and Qatar Airways direct links to Chang Mai in Thailand and Penang in Malaysia means you only need one stop to get to these tropical destinations. But is it possible to find long haul holidays on a budget?
Hello from Kerachut Beach, Penang. We took a boat through a mangrove in the Penang National Park into the sea and arrived here, only to find it deserted ❤️ There is a small turtle sanctuary here and it was also the starting point for our jungle trek. Beautiful spot – see more on my stories 👆 . . . . . . . . . . . #penang #malaysia #malaysiatrulyasia #beachlife #beaches #desertedbeach #kerachutbeach #penangnationalpark #sand #travelgram #travelblogger #travelphotography #travelblogger #wearetravelgirls @malaysia.truly.asia @visitpenang #beachwalk
The biggest mistake people make when booking long haul holidays is not comparing package deals with holidays that are booked independently. Sometimes specialists like Tropical Sky and Sunway will be able to offer cheaper packages than if you bought a flight and hotel separately. Sunway currently has a deal for next June for flights and a three night stay in the Radisson Blu in Dubai for only €529 – the flight alone to Dubai is €500! Similarly with airlines, low cost carriers, like Norwegian and WOW air charge high amounts for baggage, allocated seating, even meals on long haul flights. Compare these with airlines such as Turkish Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines who include a generous baggage allowance, all meals and even drinks on board. My advice is always compare like with like when booking any holiday. Here are some long haul holidays on a budget that I have found with travel agents and tour operators in Ireland. With most of these holidays you can add on extra nights, either with the travel agent before travel, or decide to book independent options and tours locally.
3 Night Miami Stay & 4 Nights Bahamas Cruise €999pp
This amazing deal includes flights, a three-night stay in the Miami Beach Resort & Spa and a four night Bahamas cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas. All meals and entertainment are also included on the cruise. I was on the sister ship of Mariner of the Seas, (Independence of the Seas) this year and loved it. Both have had multi-million pound makeovers and feature non stop entertainment, surf simulators, waterslides, a rock climbing wall and the brand new, virtual-reality bungee trampoline, SkyPad. You can read my review of Independence of the Seas here. This cruise visits the Bahamas and Royal Caribbean’s private island Coco Cay. This deal is available from American Holidays, travelling in November. Price is based on 2 sharing with flights via London with Virgin. You can opt to fly direct with Aer Lingus for a supplement of €150.
5* Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun, All Inclusive, 7 Nights €1249pp
This is one of the best adult-only, all-inclusive hotels in Cancun. Price includes all à la carte meals & premium drinks, gratuities, even your mini bar replenished daily! All rooms are suites and come with four-poster bed and a jacuzzi! All flights and transfers are included and you can add on extra nights if required. This deal is based on travel in November but reductions apply across all dates if booked by 30th September with Tropical Sky.
Secrets is part of the AM Resorts Group who own Now Resorts, Dreams, Breathless, Secrets and Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, have up to 50% off – for Summer 2019. The lead in rooms won’t have 50% off but for those planning a honeymoon or thinking of treating yourself to a luxury suite – you can save a 50% off the room rate
Sri Lanka, 4* All Inclusive Club Hotel Dolphin from €1109
This is a great deal to experience one of South East Asia’s real treasures. The price includes flights and a seven-night stay with all meals and drinks included, travelling in October, November or December. Prices are great value for Summer 2019 too. I went to Sri Lanka last year and loved it. There is so much to see and do, you really need to look beyond the beaches. I suggest booking this beach week but adding on at least 4 / 5 days in the cultural centre. This can be done with Tropical Sky at the time of booking or directly with a tour company locally. There are eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka (FYI Ireland has three), thousands of elephants, hundreds of leopards, tea plantations, amazing food and it is so cheap on the ground. The island practically screams adventure. I climbed the 660 foot tall Sigiriya rock fortress (1202 steps ) and felt a great sense of achievement, you can read my highlights of Sri Lanka here.
I climbed #sigiriya today, all 1202 steps 😱 It’s often referred to as the 8th wonder of the world and once you climb it you will see why. It was a fantastic experience and I’m delighted I made it to the top! How the monks carried up stones to build their city in the 5th century is mindblowing! The climb wasn’t that difficult but it was quite scary in parts. The fact that it is a holy day here didn’t help, it was packed! Check out my stories for more 👆 . . . . #srilanka #sigiriyarock #sigiriyasrilanka #wonderoftheworld #wonder #climb #climbing #hiking #proud #travelblogger #irishtravelblogger #asianwonders #wearetravelgirls #picoftheday #dreamdestinations #passionpassport @srilanka @srilanka.travel @destination_srilanka @turkishairlines @travelcounsellorsireland #widenyourworld #lovemyjob #monks #monastery
Bali, 9 Nights, 4* Tijili Seminyak hotel, €950pp
You only have to say the name Bali and suddenly images of tropical beaches and lush rainforests spring to mind. It is one of the worlds most popular tropical islands and this deal is going to one of Bali’s most upmarket resorts – Seminyak. You will be staying at the boutique hotel Tijili Seminyak in a deluxe double room. This is highly rated on tripadvisor and is furnished with materials and artwork from local artisans to give a truly authentic feel. Seminyak is also close to Ubud, another popular area, partially thanks to Julia Robert’s finding love in the movie Eat, Pray Love! Marvel at the rice terraces, take a yoga class or visit the Ubud monkey forest. You could easily incorporate some beach time in Seminyak with a wellness stay in Ubud. This deal from Travalue.ie includes flights and transfers for nine nights, travelling in October.
Cuba – Havana & All Inclusive in Varadero, 7 Nights, €1229
Combine a two night stay in UNESCO World Heritage city of Havana with an all-inclusive beach stay in Varadero for five nights. This deal from Sunway is based on a seven-night holiday in Cuba but you can add on extra nights directly with Sunway or choose to discover the Caribbean’s largest island alone. Check out the cool café culture and drive a vintage car through the streets of Havana. Walk in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway as you marvel at the architecture. Let’s not forget the Cuban’s love of music, try the salsa, mambo or cha cha! Or simply sip a mojito while you chill out on the 20km beach in Varadero – you are in the Caribbean after all. Price is based on 2 sharing and includes flights and hotels, departing on the 27th of September.
G Adventures – 10 Night Guided Tour, Bangkok, Cambodia & Vietnam, €1265pp
For those looking for an authentic guided tour on a budget, check out G Adventures. They offer the widest selection of small group tours to over 100 destinations. The average group size is 8 but they guarantee no more tan 16. They have nine different travel styles, some are geared towards 18-39’s, others for families and they also offer intimate cruises. They all have one thing in common, you live like locals, explore destinations off the beaten track and 65% of the value of your tour will stay in the local community. Travalue have some excellent offers to far flung G Adventures destinations. You can travel alone and pay no single supplement but you may end up sharing with a stranger (of the same sex ). Alternatively go with a partner or pay a supplement for a single room. This particular deal is for 18-39’s but you can book other tours that cater for all ages. Price for a 10 night guided tour on the 27th of September is €1265 and if you thinking of 2019, the price is only €1389 in May. This includes flights, accommodation, some meals, excursions and a guide throughout.
Hopefully one of my long haul holidays on a budget will suit you but if you still need inspiration, check out all my long haul destination guides here. All prices are correct at the date of issue, 1st September, but are subject to change.